Book Review: First King of Shannara

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Overview: This is an epic fantasy novel, targeted toward an adult audience, written by Terry Brooks. It is the Prelude to the the Original Shannara Trilogy (aka The Sword of Shannara Trilogy), but was actually written after the trilogy was completed.

Spoiler Free Plot: A rebel druid named Brona is amassing an army to wipe the elder races off the face of the planet. Only Bremen and his cohorts can stand in his way. But to destroy someone as powerful as Brona, a magical sword must be forged, and only the King of Shannara can wield it.

Review: The only reason why I didn’t give this 5 stars is because I became picky over Brooks’ writing style. I can’t count how many times he used the words subverted and subjugated. Additionally, his writing style sometimes “told” you what was happening, instead of “showing” you. And there was one spot where I thought the protagonists were cornered, about to meet their maker, and then suddenly a secret passage was available for them to escape (a huge let down – very similar to a deus ex machina). But that about sums up my gripes.

However, the story was very entertaining and fun! I felt like I personally knew the characters by the end, and there was tensions and action throughout the book! I feel like I would have been even more surprised at certain points had I read the trilogy first, so I would recommend reading this last.

The book was well structured, separated into 3 parts. It followed the individual stories of many of the cohorts that supported Bremen’s plan to thwart the evil Brona, and each was gripping and fast paced. There was never a moment when I thought the book was sluggish, and I highly recommend it to any fan of fantasy – as Terry Brooks is one of the greats!

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